24 Jan 2017

Commenting on the publication of the Education and Training Inspectorate’s (ETI) follow-up inspection at De La Salle College, the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Koulla Yiasouma, said:

“When the Independent Panel’s report was released, I accepted that many of the improvements necessary in De La Salle College would take some time, and I do believe that the necessary changes will be implemented. 

“However, the recent publication of the follow-up inspection addressing safeguarding issues, is alarming.

“It is wholly unacceptable that the child protection and safeguarding issues have not been effectively addressed, since ETI identified them in November of last year. 

“We are aware that the school has received support from the Child Protection School Support Service of the Education Authority, and the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools.

“However it is simply not good enough that as ETI have recently assessed, insufficient progress has been made, in this most fundamental responsibility a school has to its children.”

NICCY has, as stated last year, continued to monitor developments and has contacted the relevant authorities for a meeting as a matter of urgency. 

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

  • The Commissioner for Children and Young People has engaged with all relevant parties including parents and pupils at De La Salle College since March of last year.  The Commissioner’s Office has carefully monitored the situation since that time, seeking assurances progress was being made.
  • The publication of the Independent Panel’s report in August (2016) gave the Commissioner confidence that the relevant issues had been identified and addressed. You can view the report here.
  • NICCY has been aware of safeguarding issues in the school, and had been assured by the relevant authorities that these issues were being addressed.  Indeed ETI’s Inspection in November made a number of relevant recommendations.
  • An addendum has now been published, following further inspection of Safeguarding arrangements. This states that “the arrangements for safeguarding remain unsatisfactory”. You can view the report here (addendum can be found on page 15).
  • For more information, please contact Andrew McGall, Communications Officer at andrew@niccy.org, 028 9031 1616, mobile - 07917 544 177.